Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs, Arun Jaitley said that education will be treated in a holistic manner from pre-nursery to Class XII. Presenting the General Budget 2018-19 in Parliament here today, the Finance Minister expressed the Government’s resolve to increase the digital intensity in education. “The Government proposes to gradually move away from black board to digital board, he said. The Finance Minister underlined that a district-wise strategy for improving the quality of education is also being prepared.

Emphasising the need to step up investment in research and related infrastructure in leading educational institutions, the Finance Minister announced the proposal to launch a major initiative named “Revitalising Infrastructure and Systems in Education (RISE)”. Jaitley said that over the next four years, a total of Rs. 1,00,000 crore will be invested in the initiative. Referring to higher education, Jaitley announced the launch of Prime Minister’s Research Fellows (PMRF) Scheme. He pointed out that 1,000 best B.Tech students will be identified from premier institutions each year and facilities will be provided to them to undertake Ph.D in IITs and IISc with an attractive fellowship. Acknowledging the critical nature of the training of teachers during service, the Finance Minister also referred to the move to initiate an integrated B.Ed. programme for teachers.

Jaitley announced setting up of Ekalavya Model Residential School on a par with Navodaya Vidyalayas to provide the best quality education to the tribal children in their own environment by 2022 in every block with more than 50% ST population and at least 20,000 tribal persons with special facilities for preserving local art and culture besides providing training in sports and skill development.

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